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By Amahli Vivian

Still reveling in the Spotify Wrapped afterglow of Indigo de Souza being my most-played artist of the year, being able to see her live was a more than enjoyable experience. 

Following the release of her album All of This Will End (2023), Indigo de Souza toured the West Coast, performing at the Independent in San Francisco for two nights in a row. Both shows were sold out quickly when tickets went on sale. Lucky for me, I snagged a ticket for her first San Francisco show on December 3rd. This wasn’t the first time I had seen Indigo de Souza live; Around April 2022, I was able to see her perform in Sacramento when promoting their album Any Shape You Take (2021). My respect and appreciation of her as a musician and person has grown immensely since then, no doubt evident in her being in my Spotify Wrapped several years in a row now. 

Pleasantly complementary to Indigo de Souza’s music, indie folk duo Babehoven grabbed the crowd’s attention in their opening set. I was already familiar with most of their discography and it was very little surprise that their sound translates well into live performances. Towards the end of their set, they hinted at coming back to the Bay Area with the release of new music. I personally hope this wasn’t just a tease.

Promptly starting at 9 PM, de Souza and her band jumped right into the music with minimal discussion. The songs themselves seemed to do all the necessary talking for de Souza, which no one seemed to mind. Given the intimate and personal matter she sings about, what talking was needed?

Roughly half of the songs played were unreleased, with de Souza switching between older songs from her debut album I Love My Mom (2018), unreleased tracks, and everything in between. Towards the end of her set, they explained that the new drummer for this leg of the tour did not know the usual setlist, which was why so many new unreleased songs were played and why the show ended about 20 minutes early. I’m sure some people weren’t entirely appreciative of this decision, but it felt like getting an early peek into de Souza’s plans and seeing how she has progressed since first releasing music.

Cheers and clapping punctuated the end of each song and preceded the next. At the beginning of her set, De Souza’s initial ‘shyness’ turned into a grounded and calming presence. As the show progressed, it was clear she became more comfortable with being on stage, laughing and responding to the occasional shouted compliment. 

During the songs, a distinct change happened in the crowd from preparing to raucously sing along to becoming a quiet attentiveness of the songs themselves and de Souza. The tranquility and calmness of the crowd may come across as not caring, but everyone—myself included—was transfixed by de Souza’s captivating performance. Such relaxed concert atmospheres are unfamiliar to me, but this approach made de Souza’s performance feel so much more intimate, despite it being sold out to capacity. 

Ending with one of her heavier-sounding songs “Always” provided the catharsis of seeing one of my favorite musicians live again. One (or maybe it’s just me) can only hope she returns to the Bay Area soon enough.